Registration Policies

Below are selected policies from the College Catalog regarding course attendance and registration. For more details, please see Registering for Courses.

Class Attendance

It is the expectation of the College that students will attend all classes for which they have registered. Nevertheless, it is up to the individual department, faculty member or instructor, to set the attendance policy for their individual courses. Students should keep in mind that attendance at the first class is required in many courses to confirm enrollment. The academic calendar can be found at Many courses will automatically drop students who do not attend the first class meeting or even the entire first week of class meetings.

Simultaneous Class Enrollment

Ordinarily, students may not enroll in courses whose class time overlaps given the expectation that all students attended courses for which they receive credit. However, in some cases, simultaneous enrollment may be permitted with the permission of both instructors and the approval of the Dean of Students in the College. Please note that students may never enroll themselves in courses with time overlaps through the registration system, even with an instructor’s online consent. A paper consent form will always be required.

Course Loads

A full-time course load is three or four courses per quarter; the tuition is the same in either case. Over the typical four-year program (twelve quarters), a student normally registers for at least six 400-unit quarters and as many as six 300-unit quarters. Students are expected to register for a full-time course load Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters, i.e., 300 or 400 units per quarter, throughout their undergraduate career. 

Students who wish to take a fifth course in a given quarter, pushing them over 400 units of credit, must formally petition the Dean of Students in the College for permission to do so. To confirm the professor’s willingness to allow a late registration into their class and the student’s participation in the course, the petition must include a signed consent form from the professor. The petition will be considered in Week 3 of the quarter, at which time, if it is approved, the student will be registered for the fifth course. 

Although students may progress at varying rates toward the degree, no student may register for more than twelve quarters without the permission of the Dean of Students in the College. Transfer students may be expected to finish their requirements in fewer quarters, as outlined in the College Catalog. Note that no student may enroll in more than thirteen quarters. 

Reduced Course Load

In order to make satisfactory progress toward the degree, in 12 quarters a student must complete the required 4200 units by taking six quarters at a three-course load and six quarters at a four-course load. Accreditation, AP, and IB exams, as well as transfer credits or credits earned during the summer session, may affect these numbers.


In certain limited circumstances, students who need an additional quarter of enrollment to complete their primary major may submit a petition to the Dean of Students. Petitions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Ordinarily, petitions for an additional quarter of enrollment will not be considered to complete a secondary major or minor. Note: summer quarters do not count toward the twelve quarters of enrollment policy. Students ordinarily do not need to request permission for an additional summer quarter of enrollment.


Students who have been provided with a written accommodation by the University's Student Disability Services Office, allowing for enrollment in three courses per quarter for more than six quarters, may also be eligible for additional quarters in which to complete their 4200 units. In such cases students must petition the Dean of Students Office and receive approval in advance (ordinarily during spring quarter of the student's second year).

Repetition of Courses

When a student repeats a course, both courses appear on the student’s transcript and both grades are averaged into the student’s GPA. However, only one registration for the course counts toward the total number of credits required for graduation.

In the quarter that a course is repeated, students on financial aid must register for 300 units in addition to the repeated course unless (1) a failing grade was received in a course that a student needs to meet general education requirements or requirements in their major (2) the student’s major mandates a higher grade than was previously received.


At the end of each quarter, continuing students preregister for the following quarter. Prior to Autumn Quarter, students must confirm that they will be a registered student in Autumn Quarter.

Changes in Registration

Course registration may be changed during the first three weeks of each quarter. A change of registration is any course “drop,” any course “add,” or any substitution of one course or section for another. No changes in registration are permitted after Friday of third week without a petition to the Dean of Students in the College. For details, visit Registering for Courses.

Registration for Professional School Courses

If certain requirements are met, advanced undergraduates may register for up to six courses in the following professional schools at the University of Chicago: Graduate School of Business, the Law School, the School of Social Service Administration, or the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies. Approval of a petition to the Dean of Students in the College must be received prior to the quarter of planned registration. For more information about requirements and registration procedures, students should consult their College Advisers. NOTE: Professional school courses generally do not substitute for courses in the major; and no more than four (400 units) can count toward the forty-two credits (4200 units) required in an undergraduate degree program. For details visit Registering for Courses.

Transfer Credit

Current students in the College may take courses at other institutions
and transfer these credits back to the University of Chicago. Read more about Transfer Credit.